Active vs. Passive Team Building — And Why You Need Both
Every business is unique. No matter where you are or what you do, everyone in your business and everything you do is different. But there is one thing every business and every enterprise shares in common: people.
Managing the human element of your organisation — both individuals and teams — is crucial for efficiency and progress. And that’s where team building comes in.
Team building is the process of engaging in activities, games, and other pursuits designed to strengthen the bonds between the people who collaborate on shared goals for your organisation. When you prioritise team building, you prioritise the relationships at the heart of all that you do. It puts the people who power your business at the centre — and that can pay big dividends.
In turn, you get a happier, more bonded workforce, and a group of people who have learned how to best communicate with each other. This then flows to better customer service — Zendesk research shows 97 per cent of people say bad customer service changes buying behavior, and 87 per cent say good customer service changes buying behavior — and more repeat customers.
So it’s important to get it right.
In our Team Building Guide, we cover a lot of the must-know topics around team building, including the one we want to focus on right now: active team building vs. passive team building.
What is Active Team Building?
Active team building refers to (you guessed it) active endeavors designed to strengthen workforce relationships. These include group games, training programs, company retreats, offsite meetings, and other types of formalised team building sessions.
With active team building, team members get to know each other better, with a strong focus on communication and cohesion of purpose. These types of activities are often especially crucial for remote teams who may not have many opportunities to engage with each other outside of a direct work context.
What is Passive Team Building?
Passive team building also strengthens workforce relationships, but in ways that are more specifically geared toward the development of team culture — think peer-to-peer coaching, daily check-ins, and your company’s Slack channel.
These types of team building strategies often aren’t thought of as such, since many businesses engage in them without the specific purpose of establishing stronger team bonds. But by conveying and workshopping ideas across your team, you solidify both your team culture and the communication skills needed to keep everyone on the same page.
How Active and Passive Team Building Work Together
You might assume that your team dynamics are working effectively if you’re already prioritising either active or passive team building strategies. However, both of these strategies are important and fill in the gaps left by the other.
While active team building will help you build a strong foundation for your team, for example, it’s passive team building that will serve to bolster that foundation and keep it strong for years to come. Likewise, passive team building will only go so far if your team members don’t know much about each other or haven’t learned how to effectively communicate.
A team is more than just a group of people working on the same project. To establish a dynamic and sustainable team culture that extends beyond the work itself and into the relationships that are at its core, you need to organise active and passive team building activities that foster relationships.
Remember, just like your street or social group or sporting club, your workforce is a community of individuals.
Which team building activity is your favourite? Share it with us on LinkedIn!
And like all communities, sometimes it needs a little bit of help building a cohesive and supportive atmosphere. Develop your own team building best practices, taking a little bit from both types. Because when you invest in active and passive team building exercises, you invest in the foundation of your company culture and the ideas that will help guide it to success.
Team building can be tough, but it’s always worth it. Instead of expecting better communication and collaboration to happen on their own, you need to take charge in making them happen. Your team, and your entire corporate culture, will be better off for it.
Because, it’s your people that will make all the difference in your business — no matter what you do.